June, 20, 2017
Qatar Airways has been named the best airline in the world for 2017 by the leading consumer aviation website Skytrax.
The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at Tuesday's World Airline Awards at the 2017 Paris Air Show.
The prestigious award ceremony is often referred to as the "Oscars of the aviation industry," and the victory was a much-needed bright spot during a time in which Qatar Airways has been caught in the middle of a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Middle Eastern neighbors.
The dispute has resulted in Qatar Airways' expulsion from major markets in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. These countries have also either severely restricted Qatar Airways' access to or outright banned the airline from their airspace.
In addition, the Doha-based airline has been dealing with the financial fallout from restrictions on travel and large electronics issued by the US and UK governments earlier this year.
The political conflicts, however, emerged too late to have a bearing on Qatar Airways' performance at the World Airline Awards, where it also won for best business class in the world and best airline in the Middle East.
It was Qatar Airways' fourth win for best airline in the past 10 years after it secured the top spot in 2011, 2012, and 2015. The airline reclaimed its crown after finishing second last year to its Dubai, UAE-based rival Emirates.
The other carriers to make the Skytrax top 10 were (in no particular order) Singapore, Hainan, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, Garuda Indonesia, and EVA Air.
Other winners include AirAsia for best low-cost airline in the world and Etihad for best first-class in the world.
The Skytrax awards are decided based on independent surveys completed by 19.87 million passengers from 105 countries.